Irv Gotti

Irv Lorenzo—better known as Irv Gotti—runs the rap label The Inc. (formerly Murder Inc.) with his brother Chris "Gotti" Lorenzo. According to the People of the State of New York, he is not a money launderer.

A Hollis, Queens native, Irv started out as a DJ as a teenager and became a talent scout in the mid-1990s at Steve Gottlieb's TVT Records. In 1997, Gotti and his brother joined the Def Jam family and founded the label Murder Inc. under the supervision of Def Jam president Lyor Cohen. The brothers soon made their name producing major acts like Jay-Z, Ja Rule, DMX, and Ashanti. But their gangsta rap empire was thrown into disarray in 2003 when the brothers Gotti ran into a few small legal problems and Def Jam's parent, Universal Music, dropped the label. With the case resolved—and after they'd changed the name of the label to the much more family-friendly "The Inc."—the Gottis rebounded, and 2006 Universal picked up The Inc. anew.

In 2003, Gotti and his brother were accused of laundering more than $1 million in drug money from a crack and heroin operation led by Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, one of the most notorious drug lords in the city. Following a lengthy trial—and a defense by Gerald Lefcourt and Gerald Shargel—the pair were acquitted in December 2005. Gotti pals Jay-Z, Fat Joe, Russell Simmons, Ja Rule, and Ashanti all turned up for the verdict. [Image via Getty]